Australia fires take back seat to USA concerns


Stephanie Wallace, Feature Editor

The latest news at the moment is the Australian wildfires and for good reason. According to Fox News, 25 people have died and 2,000 homes have been destroyed. CNN states that “nearly one-third of all koalas in New South Whales have died. Fox News goes on to say that the Insurance Council of Australia has estimated the insurance claims at about 485 million dollars. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian government has committed 1.4 billion on top of the millions of dollars that have already been promised to help recovery.

The fire has been raging since September of 2019, but the news has only recently started making headlines. Appropriately, this has sparked outrage within the American public; they wonder why our news channels are just now educating us on the topic. The reasoning is in fact quite simple, and there are two that stand out in particular: prioritizing and increasing information.

News channels will always report what they feel that their audience will be best interested in. During the month of September here in the states, the top new stories were the Area 51 invasion, the vaping epidemic, and the release of information about Donald Trump’s phone call with president of Ukraine. Although none of these compare to an entire continent burning down, they were events that affected the American people directly. There is only so much time and so many resources available that channels such as CBS, FOX, and CNN have to choose what it more important at the time, and at the time it was our president trying to seek out information on the son of a 2020 presidential candidate.

The second factor is the fact that regarding the wildfires, the statistics are always changing. The longer that the fires burn, unfortunately, the larger the number of causalities become. Now that the central news has died down, there is more time to track the international news. Everyday there are new donations that are accounted for, more information about how the fires started, and background information on the bushfire history of Australia. Because there is so much to report, it is hard to collect and share everything while still making sure that the information is coming across accurately.

None of this is to excuse the news for not sharing the horrific event sooner; however, it should be understood that even with a 24/7 news cycle, some stories are put at the bottom of the stack and are forced to wait their turn until the time is appropriate.